Former Miss Utah, Noelia Voigt, started competing in pageants at 16 years old; at that same age, Voigt won her first pageant and simultaneously was faced with being bullied by her peers. Instead of giving up, Voigt made anti-bullying part of her platform and continued pursuing pageantry. All of this came full circle Friday night when she was crowned Miss USA.
When asked about her own experience with bullying, Voigt told Insider, “I was so excited when I won that local pageant, and it was actually my ex-best friend who was the ringleader of it all.” Voigt continued, “I was really hurt and confused as to why people I thought were my friends were making fun of me for doing something that I was really excited about and that I was doing good things with.” This inspired Voigt to become involved with the One Love Foundation: an organization that empowers young people with the tools and resources they need to see the signs of healthy and unhealthy relationships.
Voigt has gone on to author a best-selling, anti-bullying, children’s book titled “Maddie the BRAVE” which was inspired by a young girl from Alabama who took her own life after being bullied at school. Through the power of pageantry, Voigt has continued to use her platform to speak against bullying. She intends to expand this platform during her time as Miss USA.
“We’re really wanting to show people what the definition of pageantry is and educate them that it is different now than it was years ago.” she said. “If we want to stay relevant and continue to garner people’s support and show people the positive impacts that we make, we can’t wait for them to come to us — we have to go to them.”
Noelia Voigt has turned her trials into triumphs, making her time as Miss Utah impactful and her upcoming time as Miss USA inspirational.